I Reckon So, Knowledge
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the Truth. (1 Timothy 2:3-4 KJV)
How often have you heard another believer (or yourself) make a statement such as this: I just wish I knew what God's will is for my life for ______. You can fill in the blank at the end; go on and exhaust yourself with everything you have heard over the years. Think about it. That's really a pretty self-centered question, isn't it? Certainly, I am guilty...I have said the same many times. But shouldn't our real desire simply be "what is God's will" and let that be the end? 1 Timothy 2:3-4 lets us in on what is a big part of the answer. God's will is for all men to be saved AND to come unto a knowledge of the TRUTH (emphasis mine).
Let me ask you—if that is instruction for the church, the Body of Christ, how are we doing? Most local fellowships that believe salvation by grace through faith plus nothing make at least some effort toward the "all men to be saved part," but what about the second part?
Pastor Matt gave us what I call a "chart lesson" this past Sunday, and it was quite excellent. I hope you, as I did, took time to consider where you landed on his timeline!!! That can be a sobering detail sometimes, and yet we are instructed in Paul's epistles to make progress (Romans 12, Ephesians 4), to pursue maturity (Ephesians 4, Colossians 2,3), to take stock (Philippians 3:15-17)...essentially to take possession of the unsearchable riches of Christ!!!
Sounds powerful, doesn't it? It is, but first, you must be grounded (Ephesians 3:17-19). Paul often prays these types of prayers (Colossians 1:9-12) for believers prior to giving them sound doctrine on which to grow in his letters. Later in the pastoral epistles (1, 2 Timothy and Titus), he gives explicit instructions to Timothy and Titus (and us) not to entrust young believers with positions of responsibility in leading the church until they have time to mature and show that they "hold fast" the doctrine which he had delivered to them.
God's will is for all men to be saved AND to come unto a knowledge of the TRUTH.
I mentioned earlier believers stating their desire to know God's will. Perhaps the second thing I hear so often (and I believe Matt mentioned this Sunday) is the phrase "I just feel like _________." Many times it may come right after stating a desire to know God's will. I have to admit, I have said more than once to someone in a Bible study setting, "I'm sorry, I am not trying to be rude, but I don't really care how you feel; I would rather know what God says." Is that speaking the Truth in love? You be the judge, but most often in these types of discussions, the next thing you hear someone describing is emotions or at least emotional events which they have experienced that backup something they wanted to believe to begin with!! I think maybe Matt said that Sunday as well? Kinda? As Matt said, emotions have a place, but they are always subject to the Truth.
We are instructed to study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15). I have worn that reference out in the couple of times I have written this blog. Our knowledge can only catch up with spiritual needs as we develop a desire to truly own the Truth. That doesn't mean memorization; although certainly memorizing scripture is a good thing, but it means so much more to prove scripture in our lives. It's when all the studying and praying and embracing God's word begins to prove itself in our daily walk that we give the Spirit of God something to work with!!! Can we call this "spiritual capital" without getting too Wallstreet? How's your account reconciling?
I'm so sick of hearing of once so-called "spiritual leaders" deciding it's time to deconstruct their faith. Honest though? There are far, far more in evangelical circles, truth be known, that are "holding on till Jesus comes". I think Shaun King (the young man in the video at the end of Matt's message) has way more wisdom than both these groups.
Don't be Jaden!
(watch Sunday's message again if you haven't already!)